Technology in Education


What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?

      Technology has dramatically changed over the last fifty years.  Now students are playing educational games and working with in depth simulations.  This has completely changed the face of education.  Instructors can now choose the appropriate tool for each situation and successfully aid the learner in achieving the objectives (Goodrich, 2013).


What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?

      Instructors must be aware that there are many tools available for utilization within a classroom.  As such, it is important to choose the tool based upon instructional objectives, not choose an interesting tool and find a place for it (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  Being specific in the pedagogical utilization of new technology is very important.  Additionally, an instructor must be aware of student technological proficiency and internet speed.  These two things have the greatest impact on student success in an online environment (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).


What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?

      This is the most important aspect of technology utilization.  Having the latest and greatest technology, but no skill in utilizing it is pointless.  Students in online courses come from a myriad of backgrounds.  It is necessary to be cognizant of the student readiness for technology options.  While some sections of your course may be able to utilize advanced software, this is not the case for all students.  Providing an education means being aware of impediments such as technology failures or difficulties and providing alternatives.  For example, Lucid Charts is not an easy program to utilize for beginning users.  However, the benefits outweigh the difficulties.  As such, I would provide tutorials and be available for video conferencing and sharing my screen throughout the utilization of this tool.


What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?

Obviously, I will incorporate discussions also called forums.  These help build a community and are effective for actively engaging students.  Although I cannot cite any other specific tool without an understanding of what I will be teaching, I will list a few of my favorite tools that I utilize in my current position. 

  • Google Applications – this allows real time collaboration on documents, presentations and data collections.
  • Simulations/Games – I always find one or two that reinforce or provide extensions.  It is important to me that I provide alternative ways to process information.
  • ScreenCasting – As we move into an informational age, I have found numerous students unable to utilize software.  A simple screen cast eliminates this problem.
  • Google Voice is a new software that I will begin utilizing.  It provides a phone number and archives all messages.  It also provides an mp3 file and a text copy of the voicemail.



Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Goodrich, David (2011).  What are the effects of multimedia on learning?Retrieved from:

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010).  Enhancing the online experience.  Retrieved from




2 thoughts on “Technology in Education

  1. Hi Marla,

    I totally agree with you on instructors being “cognizant of the student readiness for technology options.” Particularly, for a technology that is not as intuitive to navigate through. As you pointed out, providing tutorials, and as (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011) noted allowing students to practice with the technology prior to using it for a graded assignment would be very helpful; it would be the one thing I would recommend for our MS-IDT program at Walden. A good example is the Adobe software we had to use in the Multimedia Design course. I absolutely enjoyed the course and did very well in it but being totally new to the Adobe applications, I spent so many grueling hours trying to learn the software—DreamWeaver, Photoshop, Flash, Bridge, and just enough for the course at that. As much as I support the idea of learning on demand (what we did in Multimedia Design for the Adobe part), I think that course could have been split into two: learning the software part, and the multimedia design part.

    Great post!


    Conrad, R. & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the Online Learner. Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Marta,
      I absolutely agree. The Multimedia course was frustrating. We were given a large number of software programs to work with and not enough time to become an expert with any of them. In fact, these was one of the most frustrating courses. I am typically a very adept software user. However, DreamWeaver and Flash were not intuitive for me. I was completely frustrated with the tutorials provided as they did not work the same way that the software works. In fact, I stopped utilizing Dream Weaver almost immediately. The same effects could be achieved utilizing other programs and changing the file type. In fact, I am still struggling to see the benefit of the software. The package was $250 and I cannot even use the Flash software properly. The Photoshop seemed pointless as the iPad apps for photo editing are better. Additionally, while I find myself understanding the point of layers when drawing on paper, I found myself struggling to see a difference in layering things using the programs. When I asked for help, I was simply directed to the Lydia tutorials, which were not helpful. I finally YouTube searched how to use the software and utilized programs I was familiar with. Simply changing the file extension worked well. I cannot stress enough that six software programs in eight weeks is inappropriate and overloads working students. After this program ends, I plan to spend time with the flash creator. I was very disappointed to not be able to utilize this to its full potential. In fact, one member of our class incorporates animations on their blog. I would love to learn how to do that.


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